Saturday, November 15, 2014

Pennsylvania Breweries - How Many?

Pennsylvania Statewide Brewery Count

November 12, 2014: Date of License Search

There are 67 counties in Pennsylvania and I have listed the number of breweries and brewery-pubs licensed by the Commonwealth to operate as such. The Liquor Control Board issues the licenses and to find a brewery or pub visit their site at
The state issues a G license for a manufacturer of malt beverage by a brewery and after that has been issued a GP license can be issued so the brewery can also operate as a restaurant. Some home brewers have websites that infer that they are a brewery and may have actually formed a brewing company, but as they are not licensed to brew they are not a part of this work.

Here is a quick summary:
Pennsylvania has 219 breweries of which 87 are brewery-pubs as of the date shown above.

45 Counties have breweries, 22 do not.
Of the 45 brewing counties, 30 have brewery-pubs
Lancaster has 24 breweries. Allegheny is second with 21.
Philadelphia County is in 6th place with only 11 breweries.
First place Lancaster is also first in brewery-pubs with 12. Pittsburgh is in 4th place with 7 brewery-pubs. Philly has only 3 as do 3 other counties.
15 Counties that have breweries do not have any brewery-pubs. Sad.
There are 8 counties in which every brewery is a brewery-pub.
York County has the highest ratio of brewery-pubs to breweries with 10/13 other than the 8 having 100%.

The List:
Adams County: 5 breweries, 1 brewery-pub
Allegheny County: 21 breweries, 7 brewery-pubs
Armstrong County: No breweries or brewery-pubs
Beaver County: 2 breweries, 1 brewery-pub
Bedford County: No breweries or brewery-pubs
Berks County: 5 breweries, 3 brewery-pubs
Blair County: 2, none of which are brewery-pubs
Bradford County: 1 brewery, which is also a brewery-pub
Bucks County: 10, 4 brewery-pubs
Butler County: 6 breweries, 3 brewery-pubs
Cambria County: No breweries or brewery-pubs
Cameron County: No breweries or brewery-pubs
Carbon County: 1, which is also a brewery-pub
Center County: 5 breweries, 1 brewery-pub
Chester County: 13 breweries, 7 brewery-pubs
Clarion County: 1, which is also a brewery-pub
Clearfield County: 2 breweries, 1 brewery-pub
Clinton County: No breweries or brewery-pubs
Columbia County: 4 breweries, 2 brewery-pubs
Crawford County: 3 breweries, 2 brewery-pubs
Cumberland County: 6 breweries, 2 brewery-pubs
Dauphin County: 7 breweries, 2 brewery-pubs
Delaware County: 4, none of which are brewery-pubs
Elk County: 1 brewery, which is NOT brewery-pub
Erie County: 6 breweries, 2 brewery-pubs
Fayette County: No breweries or brewery-pubs
Forest County: No breweries or brewery-pubs
Franklin County: 1, which is also a brewery-pub
Fulton County: No breweries or brewery-pubs
Green County: No breweries or brewery-pubs
Huntington County: No breweries or brewery-pubs
Indiana County: No breweries or brewery-pubs
Jefferson County: No breweries or brewery-pubs
Juniata County: No breweries or brewery-pubs
Lackawanna County: 1 brewery, which is NOT a brewery-pub
Lancaster County: 24 breweries, 12 brewery-pubs
Lawrence County: No breweries or brewery-pubs
Lebanon County: 1 brewery, which is a brewery-pub
Lehigh County: 5 breweries, 1 brewery-pub
Luzerne County: 6 breweries, 2 brewery-pubs
Lycoming County: 5 breweries, 2 brewery-pubs
McKean County: No breweries or brewery-pubs
Mercer County: 1 brewery, which is a brewery-pub
Mifflin County: 1 brewery, which is NOT a brewery-pub
Monroe County: 2 breweries, none are brewery-pubs
Montgomery County: 15 breweries, 9 brewery-pubs
Montour County: 3 breweries, 1 brewery-pub
Northampton County: 3 breweries, none of which are brewery-pubs
Northumberland County: 2 breweries, none of which are brewery-pubs
Perry County: No breweries or brewery-pubs
Philadelphia County: 11 breweries, 3 brewery-pubs
Pike County: No breweries or brewery-pubs
Potter County: No breweries or brewery-pubs
Schuykill County: 3 breweries, none of which are brewery-pubs
Snyder County: 1 brewery, which is also a brewery-pub
Somerset County: 1 brewery, which is NOT a brewery-pub
Sullivan County: No breweries or brewery-pubs
Susquehanna County: 1 brewery, which is NOT a brewery-pub
Tioga County: 2 breweries, 1 brewery-pub
Union County: 2 breweries, neither of which are brewery-pubs
Venango County: No breweries or brewery-pubs
Warren County: 1 brewery, which is NOT a brewery-pub
Washington County: No breweries or brewery-pubs
Wayne County: No breweries or brewery-pubs
Westmoreland County: 8 breweries, none of which are brewery-pubs
Wyoming County: 1 brewery, which is NOT a brewery-pub
York County: 13 breweries, 10 brewery-pubs

Sunday, July 6, 2014

South-Western Pa Breweries as of 2014

If you read the Hop to it Microbrew Tour in the Post Gazette today, I have the answer to Tom Labanc’s question below. Also, see for the question.

This is a list of the breweries and Brewpubs that have opened since the 1980’s. All of these entries are breweries but some have a brewpub license that permits the sale of food and drink within the same licensed area. Essentially they are a combination of brewery and full service restaurant. You may be surprised the ones that do not have this license. Only licensed breweries are listed below.

Allegheny County
Draai Laag Brewing (Millvale)
Grist House Brewing (Millvale)
East End Brewing Co (PGH Homewood then Larimer in 2012)
Hitchhiker Brewing, (Mt. Lebanon)
Hofbrauhaus (PGH South Side)
John Harvard’s Ale House (Wilkins Township) 1997-2008
Lawrenceville Brewery (PGH Lawrenceville)
Operates the Church Brew Works as a restaurant
Milkman Brewing (PGH Strip District) 2014-present
Pennsylvania Brewing Co. (PGH North Side) 1986
Operated the Allegheny Brewery & Pub as a restaurant then Penn Brewery.
Roundabout Brewing (PGH Strip District)
Rivertowne (Monroeville) 
Walnut Brewery (Homestead)
Operated the Rock Bottom Brewery as a restaurant.
Strip Brewery (PGH Strip District) 1997-unknow Closed
Sweetwater Brewing Co. (PGH Strip District) 1997-2003
Operated the Foundry Ale Work as a restaurant
Three Rivers Brewery (PGH Strip District) 1996-1997
Valhalla (PGH Strip District) 1997-2003

Beaver County
Beaver Brewing Co 2010-present
Hollywood Gardens Brewery 2012-present

Butler County
Kaliber Brewing 2013-present
North Country Brewing 2003-present
ShuBrew, Zelienople 2013-present

Somerset County
Whitehorse Brewing 2013-present

Westmoreland County
All Saints 2011-present
Bloom Brew (LCB shows as pending)
Dommy’s Pizza & DD Brewing Co. 2011-present
Four Seasons Brewing Co. 2013-present
Full Pint Brewing 2010-present
Helltown Brewing 2011-present

This information will be updated some day.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Sam Adams Boston Lager - Pittsburgh Brewed

Last May (2013) when we played Boston in hockey, many Pittsburgh Pubs wanted to ban Sam Adams. Well, first let me say that that is not very sportsmanship of us.  Also, Pittsburgh can make the claim that Sam Adams Boston Lager is a Pittsburgh beer. Pittsburgh Brewing was one of the largest breweries in America and Boston Beer was just getting underway.  

The formula was designed with the help of brewmaster Mark Davis and the first brew was produced at Pittsburgh Brewing Co. back in the 1980’s. Pittsburgh Brewing continued to brew the Boston brew until Jim Koch was able to secure his own brew house and later on he purchased the old Christian Morlein Brewery in Cincinnati, Ohio.

And pat on back for Mark and Pittsburgh Brewing. Boston Lager took 90% of its metals when it was brewed here in Pittsburgh. So yes, I see boos for Boston hockey, but remember, they are drinking beer that came from Pittsburgh. OK, maybe not anymore but I am still bragging.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Pittsburgh Guinness Toast was First

Guinness Toast
By Ed Vidunas
Republished: February 2011, February 22, 2014

This was initially published in the March 2000 issue of the TRASH Can.

America has a toast every February to a good Irish beer: Guinness. The toast is a national event on par with Super-bowl Sunday and St. Paddy's day.  The toast takes place at the same time in pubs across America.  After a brief parting of the lips by the toastmaster millions of wishing-they-were-Irish lads and lassies bring their mugs together for a quaff in unison. The toast used to take place at 9:00 pm but has been moved to 11:00 pm to get the west coast involved at a more convenient drinking hour.

What may not be known about this event is a bit of a sore spot with me.  The toast did not come from a Dublin pub or Guinness but was "fermented" here in Pittsburgh.  First tapped at A. M. Lutheran Distributors in West Mifflin it was the creation of Mr. Roger Wilouby Ray.  He brought the idea to the attention of Mr. Mel Lutheran and the rest is history.  Incidentally, Roger was inspired to do this since he couldn't find his favorite beer in Pittsburgh bars.  So few bars had it ten years ago (1990) and this got his Irish up.  OK so he was English but he drank well and only in places that had it.

What my peeve is that the (now closed) A. M. Lutheran Co. played a major roll in getting this now nationwide event off the bar, so to speak.  This was a great event made even greater when Guinness took it nationally.  But does the country know about Pittsburgh or Lutheran?  I don't think so.  Guinness seems to not want to bring this out and I think that is a shame considering the work Mr. Ray and Mr. Lutheran put into this. It would never have happened without them.  So when you hoist your Guinness pint think of Roger and Lutheran.  It is my understanding that Mr. Ray died about 1994 or 1995.

Former Trash member Joe Kolozi contributed to this story.

Saturday, January 25, 2014

What Men do in Bars

At one time women were not permitted in most bars unless they worked in one and even that was far and few. It wasn't against the law, but neither was women voting, but I digress. One reason women did not frequent bars is that they were unwelcoming. The men were not always acting as gentlemen and women in bars were often of a particular professional occupation, if you know what I mean. Another reason women stayed away is that the place may have had an unpleasant aroma coming form men peeing at the bar. Yes, at one time men would recycle beer at the bar.

Many bars in Pittsburgh built during the 1800's and early 1900's had built in troughs at the bar. Men would stand and drink at the bar but in lieu of a foot rail there was the conduit at his feet. In semi-privacy they would "give back" what they drank that evening. The conduit would lead to a nearby wall where it would run to the outside and to the gutter. Hopefully this was to a rear ally but people lived there as well so they had to endure this.

We complain when the government imposes regulations on us but I think we can agree that sometime we welcome some of them. I am glad that bars today do not have such amenities. This would have kept the college girls away as well as the pretty bartenders. And doesn't it make the bar so much nicer of a place to enjoy a brew? Three cheers for indoor plumbing.

During this time breweries sold directly to bars and some owned the bars in their area. Beer was always in casks. Breweries also made home deliveries as in the case of Nusser of the South Side. Nusser had a large brewery at the top of South 12th Street. The location was 12th and Manor Street, which now contains railroad tracks. The brewery sat adjacent to the now gone Knoxville Incline. Before that however he had a tavern on 12th Street at Bedford Square. Although the tavern is long gone is continues as a tavern known today as Club CafĂ©. Nussser started brewing in the tavern and would make home deliveries to the lady of the house. A proper housewife would never enter a bar to buy beer so he would satisfy the ladies while their husbands drank in his tavern. Well, something like that.  

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

"Craft" Beer Bars - What are they?

I was asked to define what a craft beer bar was and frankly I am at a loss for words. It is difficult for me to use the word craft in a sentence that contains beer, bar, brewery or brewer. I am an old wood worker but never called myself a craftsman. There are real craftsmen out there but they do not make craft wood. They do make well-made products with their skills. England is having a row over this with real ale. The beer campaign CAMRA defines real ale that is made the traditional way without adjuncts and served without forced carbon dioxide gas. Does that make other beers bad or not made by craftsmen? No.

All beer is made in a brewery by a brewer. That’s it. No other words need be added. All beer on the market right now is beer. What you like or don’t like applies to everyone. My beer is not your beer. The price of the beer in a bar is irrelevant as is the color, taste, alcohol content or materials used to make it. Beer is beer.

I asked twitter followers to update me with craft beer bars so I can add them to my website, I used the word craft, as that seems to be in use to day to eliminate “certain types” of beer. So what am I asking?  I am looking for bars and restaurants that are clean and safe. Places that you could take your wife or mother. They should have food that is not out of a bag. The beer (here it comes) should be served through clean lines if on draft. The beers themselves should have been made without off flavors or aromas, although this is not the bars fault but if made known to them should remove it for sale. The number of taps does not make a craft bar. Smoking bars can be on the list.

The question of what makes a good bar is: did you enjoy your stay and what you had and would you come back.

When taking to others I often hear, “I don’t like their beer”. I always retort, no their beers are well made, you just don’t like the styles they make. This is true. If you are not a hop head they you will not enjoy some of the world’s finest hoppy beers.

I rest my rant.